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Ken Nielsen

Not sure if a female Red-winged Blackbird?

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I'm at a crossroads with this one, markings, beak, just do not match unless it is a very small young female Red-winged Blackbird... I really don't know... Can you help me?

 

Screen Shot 2019-03-24 at 5.06.42 PM.png

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2 hours ago, The Bird Nuts said:

Yes, it is a Red-winged Blackbird.  Females are smaller than the males.

This one is as little as a sparrow... That's why I was thrown off... I know it's spring, I don't know when babies are born, but could this be a youngster?

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, Ken Nielsen said:

This one is as little as a sparrow... That's why I was thrown off... I know it's spring, I don't know when babies are born, but could this be a youngster?

Well, if it is an immature (like just coming into its second year), it would be the size of the adults.  If it were a fledgling that just left the nest, it still would be about as big as the adults, but it would have a featherless face and a short tail.

Edited by The Bird Nuts

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On 3/25/2019 at 10:03 AM, The Bird Nuts said:

Well, if it is an immature (like just coming into its second year), it would be the size of the adults.  If it were a fledgling that just left the nest, it still would be about as big as the adults, but it would have a featherless face and a short tail.

Interesting... So this one might be a fledgling then?

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15 minutes ago, Ken Nielsen said:

Interesting... So this one might be a fledgling then?

No, fledglings have short tails and featherless faces and older juveniles have slightly different plumage.  What I was trying to say is that the youngsters are the same size as the adults (as is the case with most birds), so just because it was small doesn't mean it was young.  Sorry about the confusing post.

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22 minutes ago, The Bird Nuts said:

No, fledglings have short tails and featherless faces and older juveniles have slightly different plumage.  What I was trying to say is that the youngsters are the same size as the adults (as is the case with most birds), so just because it was small doesn't mean it was young.  Sorry about the confusing post.

I'm such a beginner with identification. Now I understand much better, thanks again for your great help.

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25 minutes ago, The Bird Nuts said:

the youngsters are the same size as the adults

Oops..I should clarify that not all the youngsters are adult size -- when they're still in the nest they are smaller!  Sorry again!  :classic_wacko:

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Posted (edited)

I would add that this is true for passerines, but not all birds. This is probably not necessary, but many beginning birders may not know the nesting habits of all birds. Ground nesting birds, such as Turkeys, Quail, Killdeer, and Ducks, among others, have young that leave the nest shortly after hatching, and are much smaller than the adults.

Birds that are hatched featherless and are unable to get around and feed on their own (passerines,e.g) are called altricial, and have to be cared for by their parent(s) until they are able to leave the nest (fledge) and learn how to fend for themselves. These are the ones that will be adult size when they fledge.

The ones that leave the nest shortly after hatching and are able to follow their parent(s) are called precocial. They hatch with a set of down feathers and basically "hit the ground a' running". They are of course much smaller, being newly hatched. Their parent(s) teach them how to find food and will protect them from predators to the best of their ability.

As I said above, this explanation probably isn't necessary, but, what the heck! I'm retired and didn't have anything better to do!!  😁

Edited by Bird Brain
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